Random Good-Bys to 2005
By Lee Russ
Saturday, December 31, 2005 at 09:29 AM
Time to say good-by to 2005. Not soon enough for my taste. My parting observation on 2005 (all of the 21st century, so far, actually) is that if today looked any more like yesterday, it would probably be tomorrow.
Or, as a schizophrenic supposedly once actually said to some doctors:
"If I should return while I'm out, please keep me here until I get back."
Why do I have the feeling that the leaders of my country would find that a perfectly ordinary sentence?
Anyway, keeping up with end-of-year traditions, I did a survey of news items dated 12/31, just to see how representative today's news is of the year as a whole. Pretty representative, I'd say.
Here are 11 selected items, all but one dated today, to ease the slide from 2005 to 2006.
The BBC reports that:
"Property owned by a US Roman Catholic archdiocese can be used as assets in abuse claim cases, a court has ruled...Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris ruled the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, not its parishes owns church assets.
"The decision has dealt a major blow to the archdiocese's efforts to protect church property from claims filed by alleged victims of priest sex abuse."
Portland declared itself bankrupt in July 2004, saying it could not meet the cost of abuse claim cases.
2. HEY!!! LOOK OVER THERE!!!
The Herald News Daily reports, in a story about the president's radio address today, that:
"..although there are concerns about federal budget deficits, Republicans hope that touting improvements in the economy will blunt Democrats` attempts to use it as an issue in next year`s elections and help shift public attention away from casualties in Iraq."
3. ANOTHER, LESS BUSH-FRIENDLY, WOODWARD
A letter writer to the Sacramento Bee named Bob Woodward (but no, I don't think it's the same one) states that:
"One of the recipients [of a pardon from Bush], convicted of drug charges, also contributed more than a half-million dollars to Republican campaigns.
"Bush is the guy who was going to bring morality back to the White House. Look up "hypocrite" in the dictionary, and you'll find Bush's picture. If you support him, look up "fool" and find yours."
4. PALESTINIAN EXPLOSION
The Bahrain News Agency reported that:
"The Central Palestinian Static body announced today that with 2005 the number of Palestinians reached 10.1 millions including 2.4 in West Bank, 1.4 in Gaza strip, nearly 1.1 inside Israel, 3 millions in Jordan and 462,000 in Syria. Head of the Central Palestinian Statistic Body Loay Shabana said within the current facts Palestinian population expected to double by 2028 to reach 20.2 millions."
5. $ 44 MILLION OF INAPPROPRIATE RECOGNITION
PRNewswire reported that:
"Dana Corporation (NYSE: DCN) announced today that it has completed the restatements of its financial statements for the first two quarters of 2005, the year 2004, and prior years....As a result of these restatements, the total reduction in net income after tax for all periods restated was $44 million.....The primary items in the restatements impacting the reduction in aggregate net income were inappropriate recognition of certain customer pricing increases and supplier reimbursement costs in the company's Commercial Vehicle business, which prompted internal investigations."
6. WHAT'S IN A NAME?
An American Forces Press Service release reports that:
"Coalition forces today transferred command of northwest Iraq...from Task Force Freedom to Task Force Band of Brothers"
7. WHAT GOES UP MAY KILL YOU:
An item from the AP reports that:
" A soldier accused of firing a gun into the air that killed a mother of two standing at her window was arraigned Friday on manslaughter and weapons charges...Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Carpio fired a gun into the air on a Queens street on Wednesday night to celebrate his homecoming on holiday leave. The bullet struck Selina Akthela, 28, as she stood at her fifth-floor apartment window, prosecutors said."
8. HERE A BAD GUY, THERE A GOOD TIPPER
northjersey.com reports that:
"After beating and robbing a woman for cigarette and gas money, two Englewood men dined out on her credit card, generously leaving a waitress a $150 tip, authorities said Friday.
9. AND A VERY NERVOUS NEW YEAR FOR SOME GUYS IN CONGRESS:
In a story on the imminent plea bargain agreement between the government and Jack Abramoff, a piece in Capitol Hill Blue notes that:
"Abramoff's cooperation would be a boon to an ongoing Justice Department investigation of congressional corruption, possibly helping prosecutors build criminal cases against up to 20 lawmakers of both parties and their staff members."
10. A BAD HAIR STATE:
According to an AP report:
"Donald Trump is considering running for governor, a leading Republican said Friday."
11. LET MY SANTA LIVE (This is dated 12/20, but, come on, you know it belongs here)
According to Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who was angered by reported vandalism of Christmas displays, both religious and secular:
"Some of this is the work of very sick people. In many cases, Christmas decorations in cemeteries have been vandalized, and headstones have been overturned. A large blindfolded Santa was found hanging from a tree in Miami Beach, FL; in Boston, vandals decapitated Santa; Santa had his throat cut in Lincoln, NE; a dead Santa turned up in Oklahoma City, OK; and a bloody Santa holding a severed head was displayed in New York City (this was done intentionally by the homeowners).
"The authorities should throw the book at these people. If they did, we wouldn't have to go through this every year."